Supervisor sexual harassment is a workplace problem with a long, painful history. Unfortunately, it persists, here in Chicago, Geneva, in Northern Illinois, and throughout the country. If you have been subjected to sexual comments, advances, or threats by a supervisor at your place of employment and are feeling trapped, contact the experienced sexual harassment attorneys at Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil for a free consultation.
Our accomplished law team is here to help extricate you from the untenable position you’re in and will fight vigorously to get you the compensation you deserve. We have a well-earned reputation for empathy, sharp negotiation and litigation skills, and successful outcomes. Once you become our client, we will commit to using the full force of our legal capabilities to win your case.
What is supervisor sexual harassment in Geneva, Illinois?
Supervisor sexual harassment is a type of sexual discrimination and is illegal in all 50 states. It is also a form of bullying in which the person with more power seeks to take advantage of an individual in a subordinate position. A person of any gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity may be sexually harassed.
State and Federal Law Protects You from Supervisor Sexual Harassment
In Illinois, your right to work without being sexually harassed is protected by:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA)
There is an important distinction between these two laws. Title VII only applies to employers with 15 or more employees and requires that you file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before filing a lawsuit. The Illinois Human Rights Act, however, protects you in smaller businesses as well (even those with only one employee) and allows you to take action without filing a prior claim with the Illinois Division of Civil Rights.
Why You Need Our Excellent Geneva Employment Law Attorneys
Make no mistake. Even with these laws on the books, you need the powerful representation of our sexual harassment attorneys. We will provide you with the best chance of clearing your reputation and winning maximum compensation. Though many cases can be settled through negotiations alone, our sexual harassment attorneys are always prepared for aggressive litigation.
We are well aware that pursuing a supervisor sexual harassment claim is challenging. In most cases, your supervisor seems to have the upper hand since you need your job to support yourself and your family and your supervisor has the power to terminate your employment. Nonetheless, our attorneys will level the playing field. We know precisely how to gather evidence in the form of texts, emails, gifts, notes, phone calls, and witness accounts in order to put your supervisor on the hot seat.
Supervisor Sexual harassment Is Quid Pro Quo Harassment
Quid pro quo means “this for that.” This type of sexual harassment is a one-sided bargaining approach in which the supervisor either  offers perks, such as being hired or given a raise, in exchange for sexual favors or  threatens retaliation for not yielding to sexual demands, such as being demoted or terminated.
Examples of supervisor sexual harassment may include:
- Unwelcome provocative or seductive comments
- Questions about the employee’s sexual desires or habits
- Unwanted touching of hair, back, face, or more intimate body parts
- Repeated comments about the employee’s appearance or ways of moving
- Comments stating or implying that engaging in sex will be rewarded
- Comments stating or implying that refusing sexual advances will be punished
- Threatening to retaliate if the employee reports the sexual harassment
- Taking steps to retaliate against the employee’s refusal to meet sexual
demands or the employee’s complaints about sexual harassment
As to the standards for the imposition of liability against the employer for such a civil rights violation, the statute provides for strict liability against employers for sexual harassment of employees by supervisory personnel, regardless of whether the employer was aware of such conduct.
Geneva, Illinois Employers Can Be Held Strictly Liable
Employers are now liable for supervisors’ sexual harassment, whether or not they were aware of it, under the principle of strict liability. Also, all employers in Illinois also must provide:
- Employee training on workplace sexual harassment prevention
- Make it clear that the company has zero-tolerance for sexual harassment
- Make rules and protocols prohibiting sexual harassment known to all employees
- Have a known structure in place for employees to complain about sexual harassment
If your employer has failed in any of these tasks, we have further reason to hold the company accountable. Nonetheless, supervisor sexual harassment claims are more complex and difficult to prove than they may at first appear. That’s why it is critical to have a tough, well-informed attorney on your side.
What Damages Look Like in a Supervisor Sexual Harassment Claim
Depending on the particulars of your case, our lawyers will seek some or all of the following damages:
- Lost wages
- Lost bonuses or benefits
- Lost retirement benefits
- Lost paid time off
- Lost commissions
- Attorneys’ fees
You may also be entitled to be rehired or to receive a promotion you earned that was rescinded as retaliation for your complaint. As your sexual harassment lawyers, we may also be able to recover noneconomic damages for emotional anguish and reputational harm. If your situation warrants it (for example if your employer encouraged the abuse or participated in the harassment), we may also be able to recover punitive damages.
Contact Our Experienced Sexual Harassment Attorneys Today
Confronting supervisor sexual harassment can be difficult, but don’t allow fear of reprisal to keep you from receiving fair treatment. You spend too much of your life at work to have it be a place of unbearable tension. Get in touch with Foote, Mielke, Chavez & O’Neil and let our superior employment law attorneys advocate for your best interests and help you receive the compensation you deserve.